Brain4Industry has had a successful first year and 86 projects

Dolní Břežany, 19 December 2023 – In early December, the Brain4Industry consortium held its first annual conference in Dolní Břežany on the topic “Together to more efficient production”. The aim was not only to summarize the activities for the year 2023, but above all to show the concrete results of cooperation between applied research and industrial companies in the field of innovation through selected case studies.

On 7 December, eighty guests from industrial companies, representatives of industry organisations, innovation centres, scientific institutions and the state administration met at the ELI Beamlines laser centre, within sight of the newly opened Brain4Industry Innovation Centre.

During the day-long conference, they heard concrete examples of cooperation with companies from different sectors
and the results that have translated not only into innovative products or the implementation of additive manufacturing (AM) processes, but also into improved business sustainability.

“We have designed the programme in three thematic blocks, which we see as key, namely digitalisation, sustainability and education. The intersection of all the blocks was then the topic of the application of additive technologies within the product lifecycle, their effective use in development and production processes. As well as digitalisation technologies and mathematical methods to increase the efficiency of the production process,” said Brain4Industry Director Andrej Chrzanowski about the programme.

In his opening remarks, he emphasized the growing importance of additive manufacturing and digitalization and their impact on changes in the industry. The size of the market reflects the wide range of suppliers of additive manufacturing technology systems, AM services, AM materials, software and R&D activities that Brain4Industry focuses on.

In recent years, it has seen double-digit market growth, with a CAGR of 15-20%. Asia and the US are growing faster, with Europe trailing. The total size reached EUR 10 billion in 2022, furthermore, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% annually until 2027. The Czech industry still lags behind the global trend of development of additive technologies and digitalization in key industrial areas.

“We are here to help companies identify, but most importantly implement, new opportunities for the use of additive technologies, digitalisation and AI. Our mission at Brain4Industry is to industrialize innovative technologies, to strengthen the ability of Czech companies to develop products, increase productivity and strengthen their competitiveness,” said the director of Brain4Industry towards the guests.

“This year, our main goal was to launch the new Brain4Industry innovation centre in Dolní Břežany. However, we also consider it an excellent result that we are already working on 86 joint projects with more than 30 companies. The interest in cooperation is growing and we have to respond to this by expanding our team,” he added about the cooperation with the private sector.

Financial, time and process savings

The importance of a digital strategy for the correct setup of the entire digitalization process in the company was demonstrated in a case study with CZ-Auto Systems, which showed the consortium’s comprehensive knowledge not only in the field of technology, but also in the entire production process.

Knowledge of materials, proprietary topological optimization algorithms for the creation of specific structures and 3D printing was evident in the development of a new orthosis on which Brain4Industry is collaborating with medical device manufacturer Ergona. The result is a reduction in the weight of the original brace
by 80%, reducing production time from two months to two weeks and cutting the price of the product by almost a quarter.

Savings were also seen in the so-called conformal cooling of the metal foundry mould for Beneš a Lát, which, thanks to a mathematical method and additive manufacturing, has a specific structure that has helped to increase productivity in production.

A more efficient and cost-effective result was also achieved by using a special laser method, called Laser Schock Peening, which the researchers used to extend the life of a metal mould for engine production at Škoda Auto. The number of castings per mould was increased from 4,500 to 38,000.

CO2 reduction as a bonus

Each of the case studies at the conference was also analysed in terms of carbon dioxide production. Lukáš Ferkl from Envitrail, a company that works with Brain4Industry, presented calculations that showed that innovative processes can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a product’s manufacturing process and that customer demands for carbon footprint reduction can be met by technological innovation.

Education a necessary condition for success

The last session of the conference was dedicated to education and the importance of education not only for deepening knowledge, but also for communicating changes related to the introduction of new technologies in companies and for educating new talents and experts. A brand new activity of the Brain4Industry consortium was presented by Jana De Merlier – this is the B4I ACADEMY from January 2024, focusing on education in soft skills as well as in the field of digitalization, additive and laser technologies, at different levels of expertise. With the opportunity to try out specific solutions in the Brain4Industry premises, the academy will bring a unique overlap into practice and provide companies with a very high quality and realistic output.

Fotografie z konference a ve vysokém rozlišení jsou k dispozici ke stažení zde.

Kontakt pro média:

Michaela Winklerová
PR a marketing manažerka
Tel: +420 775 168 722